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The bride will get 5 minutes to cry. A makeup assistant will be ready to repair the makeup after which the bridal couple will sit in the designated car and leave.
“Mom! Are you going to cry at my wedding?” asked my daughter.
“No. Why should I? It is an happy occasion. The family is nice.”
“But I will be going away. I won’t be staying here.”
“Even now, since last few years, you are staying in another city.”
“But that is different. Now I will be married and I will be coming back frequently and for few days.”
“You do it even now.”
“But I will be Mrs. Someone after marriage.”
“But you will remain my daughter. That is not going to change.”
“But I want you to CRY during my marriage?.”
“But WHY? ”
“You get lots of attention.”
“It is your marriage. So you are going to get attention. You will be the Centre of attraction.”
“You know my boss Ashwini? She says, if you cry at your wedding you laugh the rest of your life.”
“So you cry. You are getting married, not me.”
“But then my friends will feel you don’t love me. Their mothers cried during their marriage. Juhi’s mother even fainted. Then they fussed over Juhi. Father is also going to cry, I know.”
“I will try,” was the best I could promise her and she flounced away.
I was worried. It is not that I did not cry. Like the song “When I stay away from Liza, water come to me eye”, by HarryBelafonte, water comes to me eyes on many occasions. Though I would call myself, practically emotional or emotionally practical, I can shed tears. There are many books which make me cry. Water come to me eye when I watch movies, listen to songs, watch serials. I weep while reading Little Women every time. I sob while watching Chak De India. Many advertisements make me gulp. I blubber on 26 Jan and 15 August, because all those patriotic songs make me emotional. There are some songs which makes me snivel every time I hear them.
Sometimes some odd songs make me whimper. I once found myself crying while listening to the song kabutar ja ja ja. And I even don’t like that song. I cannot sing the National Anthem as there is a lump in my throat. I sob during cricket matches when we are winning, I bawl when winning goal is scored by either team. In fact all my nephews and nieces gather round to see me cry while I watch TV.
But I cannot cry in weddings and specially during bidai. After all it is a happy occasion. Nobody is compelling you to marry. So why cry?
So now I gathered my forces ( my 2 nieces) and we sat down to discuss.
“Your didi wants me to cry at her wedding and I cannot cry on demand like some people do.”
One of my nieces could cry anytime. There was a ready supply of tears in her eyes. “It is very easy Kaku.” She told me. But it was not possible for me.
“What makes you cry?” The other one asked.
“Chak de India”
“Kaku always cries while watching that movie.”
“But she cannot sit watching the movie. She will be busy.”
“And it won’t look nice. The mother of bride watching a movie! And I cannot sit and read either!”
“What about playing songs on phone?”
“You don’t play Mere desh ki dharti on occasion of Bidai.”
That gave me an idea. There is a song on Bidai by Rafi which makes me weep. Especially since I came to know that he was also weeping while singing that song as he was reminded of his daughter’s Bidai. So I asked my nieces to download and save that song and play it in my ears during Bidai so I would have the tears. I also told them to stay near me so that I would not forget.
“You should have hired an Event Manager,” my niece said “They make all arrangements.”
“Even tears?” I asked “I had talked with one but when she gave me a list, I decided not to hire her.”
“Yes. She had everything in writing. It was like directing a play. Here I will tell you what she wrote about Bidai,” I said taking out my phone and reading from it. “The Bidai will start at 4 pm. The bride and groom will touch feet of bride’s parents and other elders (Only 4. They will be preselected by the bride’s parents and should be standing near the door.) The bride will get 5 minutes to cry. A makeup assistant will be ready to repair the makeup after which the bridal couple will sit in the designated car and leave.”
Wow!! For the first time in my life I managed to render both my nieces speechless.
Finally the time of Bidai happened.
I was standing near the door, half my mind trying to remember if my daughter had taken her bag with her. The other half was watching my daughter hugging her father and cousins and grandmothers and grandfathers, and all of them crying. Her poor husband was looking confused especially when he saw his mother weeping too.
Now my daughter was coming towards me and my eyes were dry. I was frantically searching for my nieces. “Play the song” I whispered. “We cannot,” they replied. “No battery”
Now that was a crisis. I knew my daughter would not leave till I cried. I thought of all the arrangements they had made to welcome her to her new home. Her sister in law had slipped off earlier to make everything ready for her Griha Pravesh. She had secretly asked me about my daughter’s favourite flowers and colors and food. She would be waiting.
And suddenly my eyes filled with tears when I realized that I, who had attended all performances of my daughter since her birth, who had been there during all her transformation phases, would not be able to see her enter as a new bride in her new home. That was going to be HER moment which I could not see first hand.
I let the tears course down my cheeks for her to see. There was a look of relief on her face as she left to start her new life.
Image source: a still from the film Devdas
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